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World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers' Memorial Day

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

What is the day about?

World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day exists to draw attention to work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses, and provides an opportunity to remember those who have died from a work-related injury. By raising awareness, we can better take action to minimise or eliminate the H&S risks faced at work.

This year’s theme for World Day, set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is:

‘A safe and healthy working environment is a fundamental principle and right at work’

This year’s theme for Workers’ Memorial Day, set by the International Trade Union Congress is:

‘Remember the dead, fight for the living’

When looking at Safe Work Australia’s Key WHS Australia 2021 Statistics, we discover the following facts:

  • 169 workers were fatally injured at work in Australia
  • Vehicle collision counts for 41% of worker fatalities.
  • The highest number of fatalities occurs to machinery operators & drivers, and labourers.
  • There were 120,355 total serious claims between 2019-2020.
  • Majority of claims are made due to body stress, or falls and trips. 
  • Serious claims are mostly for traumatic joint/muscle injury.
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing occupations have both the highest number of work related deaths, and highest number of work-related claims. 


Due to technical innovation or social and organisational change, employers and employees both need to be aware of new and emerging risks in the workplace. This includes:

  • New tech. e.g. nanotechnology, biotechnology.
  • New conditions, e.g. higher workload, work intensification.
  • Emerging employment types, e.g. self-employment, outsourcing.


Through awareness, and by identifying risks early, organisations can act accordingly against potential risks to their employees, and help avoid further injuries and deaths in the workplace. 

To read more, visit Safe Work Australia

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